- Brief reminder on the context of the seminar
The Heads of State and Government of the African Union adopted in February 2009 a vision/strategic document on the mining sector known as the ’African
Mining Vision‘(AMV), “with the aim of establishing a transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to support sustainable growth and socio-economic development”. This vision/document also seeks to integrate the African mining sector into the social and economic development process of the continent.
The adoption of (such a vision), the AMV, is necessary as the African continent is endowed with abundant natural resources (oil, gold, diamond, gas, etc.) but is ironically plagued with many difficulties that impede sustainable development (poverty, impoverishment, corruption, disease, etc.). In addition, the bulk of the mineral resources are exported in the form of ore or metal concentrates without any real value added and by foreign companies. Minerals are thus exported without processing. The benefits and revenues do not remain in the national economies. The important positions in these foreign companies are held by expatriate workers and Africans are left with less technical jobs. Thus, the mining industry in Africa is an enclave and therefore has very weak or no links with other sectors of the economy.
Since the adoption of the AMV in 2009, its implementation has remained slow at the country level. Moreover, it is not well known among stakeholders in the mining sector, by governments, the private sector, mining companies and civil society organizations.
The dissemination of the AMV, is therefore necessary in Burkina Faso to enable all stakeholders to have a common understanding of it and to adopt the same work approach to derive maximum benefit from the mining sector.
It is against this backdrop that ORCADE organized, in partnership with TWN-Africa, an information and knowledge sharing seminar on the African Mining Vision.
This report provides a summary of proceedings at the seminar.
- Reminder on the objectives of the seminar
The overall objective of the seminar is to ensure a common level of understanding of the African Mining Vision and the implementation approach
among stakeholders, especially through the Country Vision Mining Guide.
The specific objectives were to:
- Share information and knowledge on the African Mining Vision.
- Raise stakeholders’ awareness on the benefits of the African Mining Vision
- Equip stakeholders to work together towards the inclusion of the AMV in laws, policies and practices at the national level.
3. Reminder on results expected form the seminar:
At the end of the seminar, participants are expected to have a common understanding of the African Mining Vision and be aware of its
benefits. Stakeholders should be in favor of including the AMV principles in the laws, policies and practices at the national level.
Proceedings were held in four stages
- Opening session
- Debate on presentations
- Closing sessions
1.1. Opening session
The opening session was marked by two remarks.
The first was made by Mr. Jonas Hien, the representative of ORCADE who extended a warm welcome to participants. He also recalled the context and objectives of the seminar which included the lack of control over natural resources in Africa and the need to disseminate and implement the African Mining Vision in order to deal with poverty reduction challenges in our countries.
To conclude, he expressed, on behalf ORCADE, his deep appreciation to Third World Network- Africa for the financial support provided for the organization of the seminar.
The second intervention was made by Madam Pauline Vande Pallen, the representative of Third World Network- Africa. She made a brief presentation on the African Mining Vision and its importance for the development of mineral resources in Africa.
Three presentations were delivered.
Presentation No. 1
The first one which was the key presentation focused on the African Mining Vision and its links with the African economy. It was delivered by the Executive Director of ORCADE, Moses Kambou. He touched on, among others, the objectives of the AMV, factors that led to its adoption, as well as its components and prospects. Concerning the objective of the AMV, he recalled that the AMV seeks to ensure “an equitable and optimum exploitation of mineral resources to achieve abroad based sustainable economic development”. He added that it also aims at developing a knowledge-driven African mining sector that catalyzes and contributes to the broad-based growth & development of Africa and also
ensures that the mining sector is fully integrated into a single African market with linkages; a mining sector that is an integral part of an African economy, a sector which contributes to infrastructure development, contains enormous finite mineral resource and is a key stakeholder in competitive and dynamic markets.
He mentioned the seven (7) pillars of the AMV
- Tax regime and revenue management
- Geological and mineral information system
- Human and institutional capacity building
- Artisanal and semi-mechanized mining
- Mining sector governance
- Linkages, investments and diversification
- Environmental and social issues.
From the historical perspective, he provided an overview of the situation which led to the adoption of the African Mining Vision:
- Africa does not have a geological map that could unearth greater mineral resource potentials;
- Lack of a development strategy based on natural resources;
- The need to encourage and support SMEs and integrate them into the production chain;
- The need to facilitate R&D in collaboration with knowledge networks: universities, industries, governments, and other stakeholders.
According to the speaker, there were reasons that compelled African countries to adopt the
African Mining Vision, namely:
- The collapse of prices and inappropriate policies;
- Key opportunities such as:
– Resource rent
– Physical infrastructure
– Downstream value addition
– Upstream value addition
– Development of technologies and products.
Concerning major constraints and success factors for the AMV, the speaker mentioned the following points:
- Level and quality of data;
- Capacity to negotiate contracts
- Development of African resources and management capacity
- Improving the capacity to manage mineral resources
- Urgency of solving infrastructure problems in Africa
In terms of prospects, the speaker called for the adoption of regulations (policies laws, rules) to ensure the equitable participation of economic operators and local communities, transparency and effectiveness in revenue management and institutional capacity building.